01. THE IMPOSTEROUS
How we got Jeff Goodby on The Imposterous still baffles us. But then we remember Laura Petrucelli talked him into it so yeah, it had nothing to do with us. Back to feeling like imposters. Jeff, along with his friend Rich, started this whole Goodby Silverstein and Partner thing. Jeff grew up in Rhode Island and graduated from Harvard, where he wrote for the Harvard Lampoon. He worked as a newspaper reporter in Boston, and his illustrations have been published in TIME, Mother Jones and Harvard Magazine.
He began his advertising career at J. Walter Thompson and was lucky enough to meet the legendary Hal Riney, whom he still thinks of as his mentor. It was with Riney at Ogilvy & Mather that Goodby learned his reverence for surprise, humour, craft and restraint.
He also met Rich Silverstein there. They founded GS&P in 1983 with a founding client they renamed Electronic Arts. Since then, the two have won just about every advertising award imaginable. And yes, Jeff was the guy who originally wrote “got milk?”
He is also a director and has delivered the director’s address at the Association of Independent Commercial Producers. His work has been memorialised in the Museum of Modern Art in New York City. In 2006 he was inducted into the Advertising Hall of Fame, and in 2019 he and Rich received the Cannes Lion of St. Mark Award for lifetime achievement. In 2020 the two starred in an 18-part MasterClass online learning series.
Jeff has always held that the best advertising is like vandalism—loud, funny and still there the next day. It’s a topic that has earned international attention, in a talk first given at Cannes and then at comparable creative events in London, Sydney, New York City and Boston. He continues to believe that his success is a happy confluence of his mother (a painter), his father (a Wharton graduate) and the rest of his family, who have always been a constant reminder of irony and humility. He lives in Oakland, California, with a dog, a cat, three horses and said it was OK for us to lift this bio for GSP’s website.
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